New research shows business colleagues fear being judged on what they wear to work

New research out today shows workers in the UK dress up for work for fear of being judged on their professional performance, with 44% of respondents admitting to judging colleagues by their attire. Unsurprisingly wearing ripped jeans were seen as the worst offenders, closely followed by branded t-shirts and short skirts.

The research, commissioned by the Business is GREAT campaign, showed Welsh workers were most concerned about what their colleagues were wearing to work. Those in the East Midlands were the most relaxed.

Regional Breakdown of percentage of respondents who judge work colleagues performance by their attire:

Smart dressers and work

When asked which business leader was best dressed Lord Alan Sugar came top of the list followed by Richard Branson, Kelly Hoppen, and Peter Jones. It seems Britain is a nation of traditionalists with over two thirds of workers (75%) wearing a suit, uniform or smart-casual attire to work with only one in ten of us feeling comfortable enough to wear what we feel like to work.

Geoff Quinn, Managing Director of TM Lewin, expert Jermyn Street shirtmaker, said:

Smart (PD)“The results of this research show we want our work clothes to demonstrate our work ethic.  32% of those surveyed said they ‘dressed to impress’, choosing their business wardrobe to reflect their professional and hardworking nature.
“British fashion is coveted across the globe, and this is something which we have experienced first-hand. Thanks to support from UK Trade & Investment, TM Lewin has been able to expand into international markets, opening more than 58 stores worldwide. I encourage any brand looking to expand their business to go to and see how they can start their export journey today.”

This research comes as London Fashion Week (LFW) is in full swing. One of the highest profile fashion events in the world, it puts British fashion firmly on the global stage; with an estimated revenue of over £100m fashion orders placed during LFW alone. The British fashion industry is estimated to support 797,000 jobs.

The Business is GREAT campaign aims to build confidence in small businesses across the country, and match their potential for success with the services that can help them grow, hire, lead and export.

To find out more about how you can grow your business today visit

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